Now that you have become an intermediate Pilates exerciser, it is time to move on to new challenges. Are you ready to workout with an exercise ball? The exercise ball is designed for intermediate level clients and will challenge you stability, control, and strength. You will need a 65 cm ball to do the following exercises: Full Roll Up Lie flat on your back. Your legs should be straight and together. Now grasp the ball over your head. You should process to reach your arms up over your head. Your spine should remain connected to your mat, your ribs should be closed, and your abdominal muscles should be engaged. Your legs should be held strongly together. As you lift the ball, you are going to inhale. As you exhale, you are going to want to curl your head and shoulder off your Pilates mat. You should roll your spine up over your knees. Your arms should reach long in front of you. Inhale. Now as you exhale, you are going to want to slowly roll your body back down into the starting position. Do this exercise 5 to 8 times. The main tip to this exercise is to keep your shoulders down and your legs strong. Rolling Like a Ball Sit near the front of the mat and hold the ball between the palms of your hands. Balance on your sitting bones. Knees should be tucked in close to the buttocks. The ball should be resting on your shins. Now lift your feet off your mat and balance in the Ccurve position. Inhale. As you do so, pull your navel to your spine and roll backwards keeping the C curve position. As you exhale, roll back up through your spine to the starting position. Repeat this exercise five times. Here is a tip for this exercise. Roll back as far as your shoulders, not onto your neck. A person at the intermediate level should have no trouble doing this exercise. Single Leg Stretch Lie flat on your back with your knees pulled to your chest. Hold the ball between the palms of your hands and rest it on your knees. As you inhale, you are going to want to hold the ball in the air above your chest. As you exhale, roll your head and shoulders off your mat. Extend one of your legs out in front of you. Keep your leg at a 45degree angle. As you inhale, switch legs. As you exhale, you are going to extend the other leg out in front of you. Inhale to switch and when you extend you want to exhale. Repeat this sequence 10 times. Here is a tip for you intermediates: Keep your lower back on your mat. If your back happens to arch off, stop and try it again with your legs extending higher than a 45 degree angle.
Hip Lift Hamstring Curl Lie flat on your back and have your ankles resting on the exercise ball. You legs should be straight and together and your feet should be flexed. Inhale. As you exhale, lift your lower back and bottom off the mat until the body is in a straight line. Inhale and pull the ball towards your bottom. As you exhale, push the exercise ball away from you. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Here’s another tip to make this exercise a bit harder: Keep the exercise ball steady and do not let it sway. Use your abdominal strength to control movements. Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes when you are in a plank position. Pilates for Intermediates is a DVD title available for sale on the web site www.pilatesorstretchforbackpain.com all of these have been recommended by a leading British Osteopath/Physiotherapist, there is also a free downloadable ebook called "Back Pain Relief".